Syria blames Israel for air strike on Damascus

Terrorist from East Jerusalem stabs two at checkpoint; Joe Biden says 'devastated' by death of American Israeli hostage Judy Weinstein; Next phase of war will be 'more powerful than Hamas imagines,' Gantz says

Ynet corresponents|Updated:

Damage in Kiryat Shemona caused by shrapnel from anti-tank missiles
(Video: Tohar El Medvi)

Syria blamed Israeli "aggression" for an attack in the Syrian capital, Damascus, Syrian state TV said on Thursday night. The report came after explosions were heard in the vicinity of Damascus, and investigations were ongoing to verify their nature.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based organization opposed to the Assad regime, later reported that the attack was aimed at the airport in Damascus.
<< Follow Ynetnews on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok >>
More stories:
A terrorist stabbed two people at the Mezmoria checkpoint near Jerusalem between Har Homa and Gush Etzion, on Thursday night. In the attack, a woman, 20, was seriously injured and a man, 25, was moderately injured. The terrorist, who died of his wounds after being shot at the scene, was a 23-year-old Arab-Israeli from Jabal Mukhabar in East Jerusalem, and he arrived at the checkpoint from Israeli territory.
12 View gallery
⁨זירת הפיגוע במחסום מזמוריה סמוך לירושלים
⁨זירת הפיגוע במחסום מזמוריה סמוך לירושלים
Scene of stabbing attack at Mezmoria checkpoint near Jerusalem
(Photo: Magen David Adom)
American Israeli hostage Judy Weinstein died after being injured by Hamas terrorists on October 7, her hometown of Kibbutz Nir Oz announced on Thursday. Her husband, Gadi Haggai, 72, also was killed on October 7, and his death was announced on Friday. Both of their bodies remain in the hands of Hamas.
Following the news of Weinstein's death, U.S. President Joe Biden said he and his wife Jill are "devastated" at the news of the death of American Israeli hostage Judy Weinstein. "This tragic development cuts deep, coming on the heels of last week’s news that Judy’s beloved husband, Gad Haggai, is believed to have been killed by Hamas. We are holding Judy and Gad’s four children, seven grandchildren, and other loved ones close to our hearts," Biden said in a statement. "I will never forget what their daughter, and the family members of other Americans held hostage in Gaza, have shared with me. They have been living through hell for weeks. No family should have to endure such an ordeal. And I reaffirm the pledge we have made to all the families of those still held hostage: we will not stop working to bring them home."
12 View gallery
נשיא ארה"ב ג'ו ביידן חרבות ברזל החזרת חטופים מדבר על אביגיל עידן
נשיא ארה"ב ג'ו ביידן חרבות ברזל החזרת חטופים מדבר על אביגיל עידן
US President Joe Biden said he was 'devastated' by the news of the death of American Israeli hostage Judy Weinstein
(Photo: Reuters / Tom Brenner)
Later on Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told representatives of the families of the hostages that there is progress in negotiations for a deal. At a meeting held in the Kirya base early Thursday evening in Tel Aviv, he described these contacts as a "tug of war" with ups and downs, noted that the military pressure was "working" and said that everything was being done to rescue the hostages. Netanyahu heard from the families about their concern for the condition of their loved ones. He admitted that he is not aware of the fate of each and every hostage, and answered questions regarding the information that exists and about what will be done in order to promote the release of all the hostages.
Khalil Atiya, a Jordanian representative in the Arab Parliament – the legislative body of the Arab League, burned the Israeli flag in the main hall of the organization in Cairo on Thursday. Following the incident, Israel sent a protest to Jordan through diplomatic channels.
Government Minister Benny Gantz, a member of Israel's small War Cabinet, visited the IDF Southern Command on Thursday and after a meeting with the heads of authorities in the region addressed the state of the war and said that the IDF is ready for its next phase, and that it will be "more powerful" than "Hamas imagines."
Police worked on Thursday afternoon in several areas around the northern Israeli city of Kiryat Shemona where rocket shrapnel fell. There were no injuries, but property was damaged. Police sappers isolated the crash scenes and searched for additional remains, in order to remove risk to the public.
12 View gallery
בני גנץ הצהרה לתקשורת במועצה האזורית חוף אשקלון
בני גנץ הצהרה לתקשורת במועצה האזורית חוף אשקלון
Government Minister Benny Gantz
(Photo: Tomer Shunam Halevi)
The municipality of Kiryat Shemona later announced that damage caused in the city following the latest launches from Lebanese territory were caused by the firing of two anti-tank missiles.
Meanwhile, the IDF late Thursday afternoon fired on the sources of the recent rocket launches toward northern Israel, according to the IDF spokesperson's unit. No injuries were reported. The IDF also announced that there was no risk of a security incident after alert sirens warning of a hostile aircraft intrusion in northern Israel. The IDF struck in several areas in Lebanon on Thursday morning and overnight as well.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Thursday said that Hamas informed Tehran that "it has the ability to continue fighting for several months." He added that: "The resistance today is strong and Hezbollah and Ansar Allah (the Houthis) support Gaza. Eighty days and Hamas has not been eliminated and no hostages have been released, and now they are turning to us and other parties to release the hostages. Hamas is running the Gaza Strip and the war with Israel."
The Iranian official also accused the U.S. of lending to the spillover of the war in the Middle East. "The U.S. has conveyed to us that it does not want the war to expand. We responded, telling them 'it's not our intention to expand it, but you are the ones doing so',” he said. He added "One cannot compare Hamas to ISIS; Hamas is a liberation movement. The resistance today is strong, and both Hezbollah and the Houthi rebels support Gaza."
12 View gallery
מוחמד עיסא
מוחמד עיסא
Muhammad Issa, the son of Marwan Issa - the deputy head of the military wing of Hamas - was killed in an early morning airstrike.
The Palestinians reported that Muhammad Issa, the son of Marwan Issa - the deputy head of the military wing of Hamas - was killed in an early morning airstrike. This is Issa's second son to die: his oldest son died about a year ago due to an illness, after his father was unable to get him out of the Gaza Strip for treatment.
Soldiers from the 7th Division who have been operating for the past two weeks in Khan Younis, found weapon caches as well as eliminated terrorists in ambushes, the IDF announced on Thursday. Soldiers from the 12th Battalion found an elaborate underground infrastructure, connected to the Hamas-owned Qutaybah mosque in Khan Younis, the IDF also said. Shots were fired from one of the rooms of the mosque and an IED exploded, injuring a few soldiers. The troops eliminated the terrorists who tried to flee from the mosque with airstrikes. This is the operation resulted in the death of the late Sergeant Maor Cohen Eisenkot and the late Staff Sergeant Yonatan Din Haim, the IDF said.
A UAV launched by Hezbollah forces in Lebanon was intercepted in the sky over Haifa's metropolitan areas on Thursday after sirens were heard in the region between Haifa and Acre to its north.
The IDF had conducted airstrikes on southern Lebanon earlier in the day in response to rocket fire to the Galilee as tensions continue to rise on the northern front.
12 View gallery
יירוט שצולם מקרית חיים
יירוט שצולם מקרית חיים
Hezbollah UAV intercepted near Haifa
(Photo: Liat Barkan )
Egypt considers Hamas part of post war Gaza, according to a report in the Qatari owned Arabi Al Jadeed news paper on Thursday. Egyptian officials said the imposed absence of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad from the Strip is unrealistic and different acceptable formulas for the political makeup of post war Gaza must be considered.
12 View gallery
IDF confiscates millions in raid on West Bank money changers suspected of funding terror
IDF confiscates millions in raid on West Bank money changers suspected of funding terror
IDF confiscates millions in raid on West Bank money changers suspected of funding terror
(Photo: Screenshot)
Security Forces raided West Bank money changers early on Thursday, on orders of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. They were suspected of funding terrorism and would be declared terror organizations after their funds were diverted for use by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the West Bank and Gaza. Some 10 million shekels were confiscated and 20 suspects arrested in the operation.
IDF raids money changers thought funding Hamas
(צילום: דובר צה"ל)
Security forces clashed with Palestinian rioters in the area of the West Bank city of Ramallah and according to Palestinian reports at least one man was killed.
The IDF on Thursday, named three of its soldiers who had died in battle in Gaza. Major Dvir David Fima, 32, Captain Neriya Zisk, 24 and Sergeant first class (res.) Asaf Pinhas Tubul, 24.
12 View gallery
נריה זיסק דביר דוד פימה אסף פנחס טובול
נריה זיסק דביר דוד פימה אסף פנחס טובול
Sergeant first class (res.) Asaf Pinhas Tubul, Major Dvir David Fima , Captain Neriya Zisk
The men were killed in fighting in central and southern parts of the Gaza Strip and the military said two others were seriously hurt.
Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) urged the UN late on Wednesday, to enact its resolution passed last week and urgently increase the humanitarian aid to Gaza where he said civilians were in increasingly dire condition.
Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar kept his plan to attack Israel secret from all but two close associates and even the political leadership of the group residing outside Gaza, was kept in the dark.
12 View gallery
חסן נסראללה
חסן נסראללה
Hassan Nasrallah
(Photo : Al-Manar via Reuters)
According to a report in Le Figaro, Hassan Nasrallah was informed of the Hamas attack on October 7 half an hour in advance. Saleh al-Arouri a senior Hamas official who resides in Beirut was told of the pending assault and relayed the information to the Hezbollah leader who was reportedly angered that Iran had not notified him of the Hamas plan.
Le Figaro wrote in its report the Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar and the head of the group's military wing Mohammed Deif were furious that Nasrallah did not use Hezbollah's full force after the attack on southern Israel and sent an angry letter to that effect. Head of Hamas's political bureau Ismail Haniyeh, even flew to Tehran to urge the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to join the war but was refused.
For the first time since the start of the war, an attack drone exploded on the Golan Heights on Wednesday evening and was located by IDF troops, having caused some damage but no injuries. Pro-Iran militia In Iraq claimed responsibility for dispatching the drone.
Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi said earlier the IDF's first mission is to ensure the safe return of residents of the Galilee to their homes after being evacuated since the start of the war. "The IDF and within it the Northern Command are in a state of very high readiness. So far, the campaign here has been managed correctly and meticulously, and it must continue this way. We will not return the residents without both security and a sense of security," Halevi said on a visit to the border.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to arrive in Israel next week to discuss the war in Gaza, Axios reported on Wednesday. Blinken's visit comes amid more a more public dispute with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over plans for Gaza after the war. The secretary is also set to visit Jordan, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
12 View gallery
נשיא המדינה יצחק הרצוג פגישה עם מזכיר המדינה של ארה"ב אנתוני בלינקן בתל אביב
נשיא המדינה יצחק הרצוג פגישה עם מזכיר המדינה של ארה"ב אנתוני בלינקן בתל אביב
Antony Blinken
(Photo: Saul Loeb / AFP)
Hamas must agree to a prisoner swap a senior Egyptian diplomat told Saudi media on Wednesday claiming the terror group was taking Egyptian pressure on the matter seriously. "Hamas must enter a new agreement and use the cease-fire to reorganize its internal affairs and pressure Israel to end the war," he said.
At least three Hezbollah launched drones crashed at the Israel Lebanon border near the Sheba Farms on Wednesday afternoon causing no injury. In response the IDF began an attack on the terror group's targets in South Lebanon.
12 View gallery
תיעוד ממטוסי הקרב של צה"ל:  חיל האוויר תוקף מטרות ותשתיות טרור בשטח לבנון
תיעוד ממטוסי הקרב של צה"ל:  חיל האוויר תוקף מטרות ותשתיות טרור בשטח לבנון
Images of IDF strike on Lebanon
(Photo: IDF)
Earlier, some 18 rockets were fired from Lebanon in a barrage to the Western Galilee and eight of them were intercepted, according to the IDF. The IDF spokesman said that other launches were not intercepted "according to policy" and that the military attacked the sources of the fire toward the area of Rosh Hanikra. The IDF also announced overnight an Air Force fighter jet attacked a Hezbollah military site in Lebanese territory. In addition, it was reported, in the morning IDF forces attacked "additional areas in Lebanese territory."
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was no different from Adolf Hitler and likened Israel's attacks on Gaza to the treatment of Jewish people by the Nazis. He also criticized Western support for Israel.
12 View gallery
נשיא טורקיה רג'פ טראיפ ארדואן
נשיא טורקיה רג'פ טראיפ ארדואן
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan
(Photo: Sean Gallup / Getty Images)
His comments provoked harsh responses in Israel. Netanyahu said Erdogan was not in a position to preach morality after he commits genocide of the Kurdish minority and has jailed a record breaking number of journalists.
The spokesman for Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corp, Ramadan Sharif, said on Wednesday that the Hamas attack on October 7 was "one of the reactions to the assassination of Qasem Soleimani," but Hamas later denied this and said that the reasons for the attack were "the dangers threatening the Al-Aqsa Mosque." The Hamas statement reads: "We have repeatedly emphasized the motives and reasons for the operation – primarily the threats to the al-Aqsa Mosque. We also confirm that all Palestinian resistance actions come in response to the presence of the occupation and its ongoing aggression against our people and the holy places."
12 View gallery
עלי חמינאי ו איסמאעיל הנייה איראן חמאס פגישה יוני 2023
עלי חמינאי ו איסמאעיל הנייה איראן חמאס פגישה יוני 2023
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei meet in June 2023
(Photo: Reuters )
First published: 07:11, 12.28.23
Comments
The commenter agrees to the privacy policy of Ynet News and agrees not to submit comments that violate the terms of use, including incitement, libel and expressions that exceed the accepted norms of freedom of speech.
""